Contact: Alexis Donath, 651-757-2120 St. Paul, Minn. -- The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is seeking comments on a water quality improvement report for Cedar Island Lake, Pike Lake, and Eagle Lake, all located in Hennepin County. The report, known as a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), focuses on pollution caused by excess nutrients. A public comment period begins Sept. 28 and continues through Oct. 28, 2009. Cedar Island, Pike, and Eagle lakes are part of the Shingle Creek watershed. The 291-acre Eagle Lake is a popular recreational water body, used for fishing, swimming and aesthetic enjoyment. Pike and Cedar Island lakes, at 58 acres and 81 acres, respectively, are used for fishing. The drainage area for these lakes includes 2,880 acres of fully developed urban and suburban land. The three lakes have been placed on the state's impaired waters list because of excess nutrient levels, particularly phosphorus. While phosphorus is an essential nutrient for algae and plants, it is considered a pollutant when it stimulates excessive growth of algae or aquatic plants. Water quality in Cedar Island and Pike lakes is considered poor with frequent algal blooms, while Eagle Lake has more moderately degraded water quality. The TMDL study indicated that a 67 percent decrease would be required for Cedar Island Lake to consistently meet water quality standards throughout the summer. Reductions of 49 percent and 40 percent, respectively, are needed for Pike and Eagle Lakes. The TMDL report is part of a nationwide effort under the federal Clean Water Act to identify and clean up pollution in streams, rivers and lakes. It is a scientific study that calculates the maximum amount of a pollutant a water body can receive, known as the "loading capacity" without exceeding water quality standards. Every two years, states are required to submit a list of impaired waters to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). After receiving public comments, the MPCA will revise the draft Cedar Island, Pike, and Eagle Lakes TMDL report and submit it to the EPA for approval. Following EPA approval of the study, a plan will be developed to reduce phosphorus pollution in the lake. The Cedar Island, Pike and Eagle lakes TMDL draft report is available on the Web at www.pca.state.mn.us/water/tmdl/project-cedarpikeeagle-nutrients.html, or at the MPCA St. Paul office, 520 Lafayette Road North. Comments may be submitted to Barb Peichel, MPCA, 520 Lafayette Road North, St. Paul, MN 55155. For more information, telephone Peichel at 651-757-2646. Written comments must include the following:
-- A statement of your interest in the draft TMDL report;
-- A statement of the action you wish the MPCA to take, including specific references to sections of the draft TMDL that you believe should be changed; and
-- Specific reasons supporting your position.
More information on the state's impaired waters list and TMDL studies is available on the Web at www.pca.state.mn.us/water/tmdl/index.html, or toll-free at 1-800-657-3864.